Ayurvedic Management of Mild Cognitive Impairment
Life expectancy has increased as a result of advancement in medical science. As a result the prortion of elderly in the population is also greater than ever and there is a need to tackle their problems. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is one of the most common clinical manifestations affecting the elderly population. MCI is a term used to describe cognitive decline of thinking, memory and reasoning. This is an transitional stage between the cognitive decline of normal ageing and the more serious decline in dementia. Neurons fail to establish connections in appropriate time and when insufficiently stimulated by nootropic factors, they die. This gradually leads to mild cognitive impairment, as ageing occurs. According to recent published works on cognition and dementia, 2/3rd of all cases who are diagnosed with MCI have memory loss, more pronounced than thinking and reasoning. Timely intervention is awfully important in these cases as they are at a high risk of developing dementia. According to Sarangadhara Acharya, medha (grasping and retention power) deteriorates after the fourth decade of life and this may be considered as a warning signal for further smr`ti (memory) and buddhi (intellect) deterioration, in the successive years. Ayurveda has a major role to play in this arena. Rasaayana, Panchakarma therapy, drugs like guduchi, aswagandha,brahmi and the like, including various ghritas have proven effects in cognitive domains of psychological wellbeing. Further, giving constant mental stimulations through brain games which is mentioned through the concept of Buddhimedhakara gana, along with panchakarma measures, bring significant results in all domains of cognition. Here is an attempt to discuss the pathogenesis and preventive aspects of cognitive deficits with special reference to dementia and MCI. Nootropic drugs,neuro rehabilitation and neuroplasticity are the three approaches which are analyzed in the purview of Ayurvedic concept and are suggested as techniques for the management and prevention of MCI.
Keywords: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Dementia, Med-ha, Smr`ti, Nootropic Drugs, Neurorehabilitation, Neuroplas-ticity
Volume: 6 | Issue: 1
Issue Date: February , 2016